I was engaged as a contractor to help a major bank convert its servers from physical to virtual. It was 2010, when virtual was starting to eclipse physical. The consulting firm the bank hired to oversee the project had already decided that the conversions would be performed by a piece of software made by another company with whom the consulting firm was in bed.

I was brought in as a Linux expert, and told to, "make it work." The selected software, I found out without a lot of effort or exposure, eats shit. With whip cream. Part of the plan was to, "right-size" filesystems down to new desired sizes, and we found out that was one of the many things it could not do. Also, it required root SSH access to the server being converted. Just garbage.

I was very frustrated by the imposition of this terrible software, and started to butt heads with the consulting firm's project manager assigned to our team. Finally, during project planning meetings, I put together a P2V solution made with a customized Linux Rescue CD, perl, rsync, and LVM.

The selected software took about 45 minutes to do an initial conversion to the VM, and about 25 minutes to do a subsequent sync, which was part of the plan, for the final sync before cutover.

The tool I built took about 5 minutes to do the initial conversion, and about 30-45 seconds to do the final sync, and was able to satisfy every business requirement the selected software was unable to meet, and about which the consultants just shrugged.

The project manager got wind of this, and tried to get them to release my contract. He told management what I had built, against his instructions. They did not release my contract. They hired more people and assigned them to me to help build this tool.

They traveled to me and we refined it down to a simple portable ISO that remained in use as the default method for Linux for years after I left.

Fast forward to 2015. I'm interviewing for the position I have now, and one of the guys on the tech screen call says he worked for the same bank later and used that tool I wrote, and loved it. I think it was his endorsement that pushed me over and got me an offer for $15K more than I asked for.

  • 1

    Not that I know of, apart from it being a massive company itself.
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  • 5
    This is the kind of story that reminds me why I love this developer universe.
  • 4
    Moral of the story: between doing what you're told and doing it the right way, choose the latter.
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